Thursday, May 28, 2015
Scouting Report: Ron Johnson, Jr.
Name: Ron Johnson
Weight: 240 lbs.
High school: Camden (NJ) Camden
Position: Defensive end
Notes: Holds offers from Arizona State, Boston College, Kentucky, Miami, Michigan, Michigan State, Missouri, Nebraska, North Carolina, Notre Dame, Ohio State, Old Dominion, Ole Miss, Oregon, Penn State, Pitt, Rutgers, South Carolina, Syracuse, Temple, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia, and Wisconsin . . . ESPN 4-star, #11 defensive end, #73 overall . . . Rivals 4-star, #5 weakside end, #96 overall . . . Scout 3-star, #48 defensive end . . . 247 Sports 4-star, #14 weakside end, #220 overall
Strengths: Good frame to stay at defensive end . . . Plenty of room to add weight . . . Long arms . . . Uses hands well to shed blockers . . . Quick, compact swim move . . . Good awareness and nose for football . . . Enough speed and tenacity to chase down plays from backside . . . Violent hitter . . . Runs feet after contact . . . Plays with chip on his shoulder . . . Takes good angles . . . Good straight-line speed and agility . . . Fast enough to threaten the edge with speed rush
Weaknesses: Can play too high on interior . . . Needs to improve explosiveness of first step . . . Needs to diversify pass rush repertoire . . . Sometimes gets lazy with tackling technique
Projection: Defensive end. Depending on how his body develops, Johnson could play either the weakside end or strongside end position. He does not have the speed and suddenness to be a complete terror as a pass rusher, but he has enough speed to be a consistent threat and enough tenacity to finish plays with hustle. Johnson is a high-floor player who, at the very least, should be able to hold his own against the run and make some Brennen Beyer- or Craig Roh-like plays on the quarterback. There are times in his film where he crushes lead blockers, and he has a violent way about his play that makes me think he likes punishing anyone with an opposing jersey.
Reminds me of: Frank Clark. I mentioned Beyer and Roh up above as kind of Johnson's floor, but when Clark was clicking, he was very tough to deal with. Johnson is probably a little taller and his game is more developed at this point, but both guys have good frames, a good wingspan, and a nasty attitude.
Likelihood of committing to Michigan: Johnson recently named a top fifteen that included Michigan, and the Wolverines have even been reported to be in his top two schools (along with South Carolina). Johnson visited Michigan this spring with teammate Brad Hawkins, who also holds a Michigan offer. The Wolverines have as good of a shot as anyone.